Tagged: movies

Les Miz Advent Calendar

Tis the season for advent calendars and the Christmas Day movie premiere of “Les Miserables.”  One of my friends at Summer camp knew all the songs and incorporated them into our daily activities.  I miss her.  I get chills every time I see the trailer so hopefully it lives up to my expectations.  While we wait for it we can amuse ourselves with a Les Miz Advent Calendar as put together by Margaret Lyons and Amanda Dobbins at Vulture on NYMag.com.  So far my favorite day was December 2 when they posted a video of Jason Segel and Paul Rudd singing “Confrontation.”

Picasso Black & White, Via Quadronno and Argo

Yesterday was activity filled.  The itinerary was ambitious but doable.

First there were Milanese paninis at Via Quadronno.  These aren’t the grilled pressed paninis.  Yes the bread is toasted but they’re not flattened out.  There are salads, cold and warm small plates, entrees and other sandwiches but I’ve only ever had the Milanese paninis and espresso.  The other distinguishing factor is the crazy combos of meats and cheeses they contain.  It’s best to go with a friend so you can order more than one and share, more options!

The three we had:

Non Ti Scordar di Me— our award-winning specialty: speck, brie, paté

Cervino— cured wild boar filet, brie, goat & fontina cheeses, romaine, herbs

Lo Spazzino–young roast pork, rucola, provolone, red onion & caper sauce

If you tell them you’re sharing they will cut them in half and taper how quickly they come out so they won’t be cold and all piled on your table.  There are 21 different paninis and a few vegetarian ones.  I’ve tried some of the others but the 3 I mentioned are my favorites.

It can get pretty crowded during the weekday lunch but with some patience you will taste some delicious things and see an interesting slice of the Upper East Side.

Lunch provided a good base to take on the crowds at the Guggenheim where the “Picasso Black and White” exhibition is on until January 23, 2013.

Bust of a Woman, Arms Raised (Buste de femme, les bras levés), 1922. Courtesy Guggenheim Museum, New York

If you want to follow the exhibition chronologically start at the bottom of the ramp and work your way up.  If the order of things isn’t important, take the elevator to the top floor and bring your roller skates.  Okay the security guards would probably stop you from rolling down the ramps, so if you get caught it wasn’t my idea!

There are 118 works to see, 38 have never been in the U.S. and 5 never in public.  It is a lovely show with masterpieces here and there.  It seemed like all the major periods or works in his oeuvre from 1904 to 1971 were represented: the Blue and Rose periods; the sturdy figurative portraits like the Bust of a Woman, above; Cubism; Surrealism; sociopolitical paintings and works inspired by Goya and Velázquez. More

Movie Mondays: Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel

Diana Vreeland. Courtesy http://www.dianavreeland-film.com

I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere.  It was me–projecting to the public.  That was my job.  I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public.  Give ’em what they never knew they wanted.”  D.V.

I love Diana Vreeland.  She  is an icon.  The movie “Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel” is a wonderful and entertaining portrait that is a must see if you have an interest in fashion, photography, celebrity, beauty or publishing.  She was such a ball of energy and creativity.  Her colleagues and assistants said she was difficult and demanding but I think she had to be to see her avant-garde visions carried out.

You gotta have style.  It helps you get down the stairs.  It helps you get up in the morning.  It’s a way of life.  Without it, you’re nobody.  I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”  D.V.

Vreeland was hired by Carmel Snow at Harper’s Bazaar first as a contributor which evolved into fashion editor of the magazine, and stayed there for 25 years (1937-1962).  She followed this with a stint at Vogue as Editor-in-Chief (1962-1971).  And if that wasn’t enough she was a consultant at the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972 until 1986.  The flip side of all this is that she never got a raise while at Harper’s Bazaar and was passed over for a promotion.  Her time at Vogue was cut short because the magazine wasn’t doing so well under her and her expenses for photo shoots weren’t helping.  Fortunately her friends rallied to get her a job at the Costume Institute where she revolutionized the department.

Vogue always did stand for people’s lives.  I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.”  D.V.     More

Movie Mondays: The Master and Arbitrage

I love going to the movies.  Sometimes I get a cherry coke because it tastes so much better than from a bottle–that direct combination of syrup and soda is so sugary and bad.  I always try to get there in time for the previews, but most of all I love getting way too involved and wrapped up in the characters and story.

Movies are one of the constants of my life, from childhood until now.  So much of my middle and high school social life revolved around the movies.  We would go to the mall, meet our boyfriends and “watch” a movie.  I saw “Dances with Wolves” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” 3 times each, once for real, and the other 2, well sort of.

In college, I can’t remember which year or semester, I had just finished finals week and my dad picked me up and we saw 2 or 3 movies in a row.  He thought it was a good way to relax and I couldn’t agree more.  At the Apollo, the local theater in Oberlin, Ohio (I went to Oberlin),  it was the first and maybe only time I heard 40s rolling down the aisle.  Aaaahhh the movies.

These days I find particular joy in my Movie Mondays.  I work Tuesday through Saturday which gives me a Sunday-Monday weekend.  It was strange at first but now after working this way for so long it’s hard to imagine it any other way.  Monday always felt like I was playing hooky until I noticed lots of other people going to the movies on Monday too.  Oh well.

This past Monday I saw “Arbitrage.”  I won’t give away exactly what happens.  It captures a series of major events in the life of a powerful finance guy played by Richard Gere.  He was handsome in “American Gigolo” and he has good chemistry with some of his leading ladies but he’s never done much for me.  What was remarkable is how his character made bad decisions but somehow through luck, power and money he ends up okay (Duh, it’s the movies).  He’s not a nice man.  He gives to charity and seems like he cares about others but really he is selfish, entitled, classicist, racist.  I left wondering how many guys like him are out there now getting away with terrible things since only a few (Bernie Madoff) get caught.

The townhouse he and his family live in had the most amazing chandelier that descended through the center of the stairwell of the house.  It was rectangular in shape with millions of rectangle-shaped crystals forming a sparkling column of light, a very modern-contemporary touch in a rather traditional but not chintz and tassel covered home.

There was a scene of Susan Sarandon on the elliptical machine.  She had on an off the shoulder shirt and there was no visible bra strap.  From paparazzi photos I know she’s well-endowed so how the heck is she bouncing around without support?  No one works out in a strapless bra.  Unless you’re Amanda Bynes.

“The Master” left me feeling uneasy about what I had just seen.  I know that Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix were both amazing, and Amy Adams held her own, but whoa, it was a lot to take in.  The cinematography was beautiful.  I loved the shots of the swirling turquoise, deep blue water and the light present in all the scenes.

Here you have portraits of men who feel beholden to none, resolute in their paths and just a tad crazy.  It’s hard for me to say I loved the movie because the characters that Hoffman and Phoenix play are not likeable.  I want to know what happened to them to make them the way they are.

I’ll try to be more timely in my Movie Monday posts.  I want to see the Diana Vreeland movie, “Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel” and I’m excited about the new James Bond, “Skyfall,” but right now there’s not too much I want to play $13 to see.

I saw Daniel Craig in the street once and his eyes are really that blue.  Happy Weekend!